The concept of PBR has to be a good thing for cost efficiencies in the NHS. Why would anyone pay over the odds for something? But again, we need to make sure that the needs of the patient are not forgotten.
PBR recommends a set time-frame and cost for assessments and treatments which result in setting a form of tariffs. This is being implemented across the entire health service, including mental health, which has also seen tariffs applied to specific treatments. The aim of this exercise is to align all areas of the NHS; to manage budgets, schedules and timescales – and of course, to help manage staffing and patient expectations.
When it comes to accessibility and equipment services, PBR is the way forward. A wheelchair for an amputee and a wheelchair for a paraplegic are very different pieces of equipment and it’s encouraging that this is being recognised as part of this exercise, with specific wheelchair tariffs being applied.
In all instances, open book accounting makes things more transparent for business and the NHS is a business. Wheelchair Services have generally been in-house and NHS based, and have also been horribly underfunded. By setting budgets and expectations, the organisation will be able to see where there is underfunding – or if funds are not being used where they are needed. It goes without saying that these efficiency measures are needed.
And we’re pleased to be a part of this. Veritas is working with a collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups to commission a Wheelchair Service which is part of NHS England’s wheelchair tariff pilot. So we’ll let you know how we get on!
For more information on commissioning equipment or wheelchair services, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.